When Dr. Courtney Katsur went to Ukraine to help animals in need, she didn’t anticipate the bond she’d form with one special stray.
Mr. Richard Gere was in rough shape when Dr. Katsur first found him in a shelter constantly threatened by the ongoing war. The difficulty over the last couple months was written all over the sweet dog’s grizzled face.
“He’s not an old dog,” Dr. Katsur told The Dodo. “But he looks like it because of what he’s been through.”
Mr. Richard Gere was also incredibly uncomfortable around people at first.
“He didn’t trust,” Dr. Katsur said. “Every time you’d touch him, he’d shiver.”
But a big turning point came one day, after Dr. Katsur groomed him and cleaned him up. That was the moment when it felt like she’d finally gained his trust.
“He curled up in a little ball in the sunshine and just kind of lay there and stared at me,” Dr. Katsur said. “It was just from then on in, like, I wish I could have taken him home.”
After that, Dr. Katsur noticed that Mr. Richard Gere was acting like an entirely different dog, and seemed really happy about getting out and doing typical dog things with the people who were caring for him.
“He started running and trotting around on his walks more,” Dr. Katsur said. “Before, we had to drag him out because he didn’t want to walk.”
And his personality started to come out more.
“We called him ‘Mr.’ because he just earned that,” Dr. Katsur said. “He was a little spicy.”
Mr. Richard Gere was one of many animals who touched Dr. Katsur during her time in Ukraine while volunteering with UK-based organization Breaking The Chains.
“I still get teary eyed when I think about them,” Dr. Katsur said.
Even though Dr. Katsur is back in the U.S. right now, she’s still staying up to date on her furry pals.
And as it turns out, Mr. Richard Gere has developed so much trust for the people he’s met that he’s actually being adopted by another volunteer.
Dr. Katsur is so thrilled that he’s going to a loving home.